Death in Adam, Life in Christ
In this theologically challenging passage, Paul explains the meaning and origin of sin and death through Adam, and the good news of spiritual and eternal life through Christ. Because of Adam’s rebellion against God (Gen. 2:16-17), “sin and death” is the default condition of human beings. Paul refers to “death” as the consequence of this rebellion. “Death” here refers to both physical and spiritual death. Our sins keep us from God’s perfect plan for us on earth. God intended us to be fully human, conformed to His image (Gen. 1:27-28).
Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the human condition has been altered for all who follow Him. “Sin” and “death” no longer rule us. The life He has given us is both physical (Gen 1:27) and spiritual. Yes, our bodies will die, but we will live eternally with Him. Through the Holy Spirit, our spiritual selves are given the grace to grow toward God’s perfect plan for us. Through God’s grace and gift of the Holy Spirit, our sin need not rule us. Paul is giving us the best of all news!
I am tempted to rebel against God on a daily basis. The “respectable” sins, described by author Jerry Bridges (self-righteousness, pride, lack of self-control, among others), are part of my life. I’m frustrated that I have to deal with them over and over again. Were it not for Paul’s teaching on this subject, I would become despondent and be tempted to give up. But my “condition” before God is changed!
Stepping Out in Lent – Let’s remember: if we accept Jesus’ work of salvation, God accepts us, loves us, and gives us every gift: our physical bodies will die, but life will be eternal. God’s abundant grace is poured out to move us forward in humility and in gratitude for His life-giving Son.
Author – Susan Eaton and her husband Tom have been members of St. Peter’s since 2008. She is grateful for all the adult educational opportunities at St. Peter’s and hopes to become more involved with the Charles Simeon Institute in the near future.